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Indian Premier League: Ben Stokes Lambasts Slow Chennai Tracks, Says “Trash” Wickets Will Have Teams Scraping To Low Scores | Cricket News

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Indian Premier League: Ben Stokes Lambasts Slow Chennai Tracks, Says “Trash” Wickets Will Have Teams Scraping To Low Scores | Cricket News


IPL 2021: Ben Stokes Lambasts Slow Chennai Tracks, Says

IPL 2021: Ben Stokes expressed displeasure with the pitches used in Chennai for the IPL.© BCCI/IPL




England all-rounder Ben Stokes has criticised the slow track of Chennai’s MA Chidambaram Stadium and hoped that teams competing in the IPL do not end up regularly scraping to low scores because of wickets that are “trash”. Stokes, whose IPL stint with Rajasthan Royals was cut short by a fractured finger, feels that for an enjoyable T20 contest, a score in the range of 160 to 170 is paramount. “Hope the wickets don’t get worse as the IPL gets deeper into the tournament..160/170 minimum not scraping to 130/140 cause the wickets are trash,” Stokes tweeted after Mumbai Indians painstakingly reached 131 for 6 which was chased down by Punjab Kings.

Till Friday, Chennai has hosted nine IPL games and only twice has the team batting first scored in excess of 170.

Once, it was Royal Challengers Bangalore which posted a commanding 204 against Kolkata Knight Riders and the other time was KKR scoring 187 against SunRisers Hyderabad.

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Otherwise, any score in the range of 145 to 150 has been good enough to win for teams batting first.

Chennai will host its last IPL game of the season on Sunday when Delhi Capitals take on SunRisers Hyderabad before the caravan shifts to Ahmedabad and New Delhi.

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Aymeric Laporte Set For Spain At Euro 2020 After Nationality Approved: Report | Football News

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Aymeric Laporte Set For Spain At Euro 2020 After Nationality Approved: Report | Football News


Aymeric Laporte Set For Spain At Euro 2020 After Nationality Approved: Report

Aymeric Laporte has not been a regular for Manchester City under Pep Guardiola this season.© AFP




Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte has been approved to play for Spain instead of France at Euro 2020 this summer, sources at the Spanish football federation (RFEF) confirmed to AFP on Tuesday. The Spanish Council of Ministers has granted Spanish nationality to Laporte, who was born in Agen, France but never played for the French senior team, despite three call-ups to the squad between 2016 and 2020.

Laporte spent eight years with Athletic Bilbao between 2010 and 2018 before leaving to join Manchester City in England.

The Spanish Ministry for Sport told AFP on Tuesday the process had been initiated by the RFEF and was being “finalised”, with the knowledge and consent of the player.

It means Laporte could play for Spain at Euro 2020 this summer, potentially alongside Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos.

The 26-year-old would be a valuable addition to the Spanish squad, particularly given central defence has been a problem area for coach Luis Enrique.

Gerard Pique retired in 2018 and the spot next to Ramos has been filled by a number of players, including Villarreal’s Pau Torres, Real Sociedad’s Inigo Martinez and Eric Garcia of Manchester City.

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After an impressive start at City, Laporte suffered a knee injury in 2019 and has not been a regular under Pep Guardiola this term.

France coach Didier Deschamps has a wealth of options at centre-back, with Raphael Varane, Lucas Hernandez, Presnel Kimpembe, Clement Lenglet and Kurt Zouma among those picked ahead of Laporte in recent months.

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New Zealand’s BJ Watling To Retire After England Tour | Cricket News

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New Zealand’s BJ Watling To Retire After England Tour | Cricket News





New Zealand wicketkeeper BJ Watling on Tuesday announced that he will hang up his gloves after the Kiwis’s tour of England, which includes two Tests against the hosts and then the World Test Championship (WTC) final against India. The 35-year-old said that he felt it was the right time to quit. Watling has represented New Zealand in 73 Tests, 28 ODIs and five T20 Internationals (T20Is). Watling had a stellar career, especially behind the stumps, and also played several crucial knocks in front of them as well.

“The curtain is set to come down on the career of one of New Zealand’s most widely respected cricketers, with wicket-keeper BJ Watling to retire from all cricket after the upcoming Test tour of England,” New Zealand Cricket said in a release.

“It’s been a huge honour to represent New Zealand and in particular wear the Test baggy. Test cricket really is the pinnacle of the game and I’ve loved every minute of being out there in the whites with the boys,” Watling was quoted as saying.

“Sitting in the changing rooms having a beer with the team after five days’ toil is what I’ll miss the most,” he said.

“I’ve played with some great players and made many good mates. I’ve also had plenty of help along the way for which I’ll always be grateful,” Watling added.

Watling also thanked his family for their constant support.

“My wife Jess has been a constant source of stability and support and I’m certainly looking forward to being able to spend more time with her and the kids. I also owe a big thanks to my mum for steering me in the right direction early on and always being there for me.”

Watling said that despite having to announce his retirement ahead of New Zealand’s tour of England, his focus was on the three matches.

“Although I’ve had to make this announcement ahead of the tour to England, my focus is very much on the three Tests ahead and preparing to perform in them. This tour will be a challenge on a few levels and we know as a team we will need to be at the very top of our game if we want to succeed,” he said.

New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White said Watling would be remembered for the tremendous courage and determination he brought to the game, and especially when the chips were down.

“BJ turned games around,” he said. “I can’t think of another player who reacted so positively, and who was successful in the face of adversity.”

 

“His ability to wring every possible run out of the tail was unmatched; his work behind the stumps tireless and efficient,” he said.

“He has a quiet, unassuming and undemonstrative manner that belies the huge appetite he has for the contest and the challenge,” White said.

“BJ’s been a huge part of the success of the current BLACKCAPS team and on behalf of NZC, I want to wish him well for the upcoming Tests in England and life after cricket.”

New Zealand head coach Gary Stead hailed Watling as “a great bloke”.

“BJ is a wonderful player and a great bloke,” Stead said.

“He works really hard on his game to get improvements and always puts the team first. “You just have to look at the respect he’s held in by his teammates and the opposition to appreciate his standing in the game,” he added.

“The records speak for themselves and he’s been such a crucial cog in the Test team’s rise over the past decade. That double hundred he scored at the Mount in 2019 was one of the best innings I’ve ever seen and epitomised BJ Watling as a player, really,” he said.

“The attitude and fight he brings to every day and every session of a Test is what has made him such a valued member of the BLACKCAPS,” Head went on to say.

“He is without a doubt one of our best ever wicket-keeper batsmen,” he concluded.

Watling holds the record for most dismissals by a New Zealand wicketkeeper in Tests, with 249 catches, excluding 10 taken as an outfield player, and eight stumpings.

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He has eight centuries to his name in the longest format of the game, including a double-century against England.

Watling made his debut for New Zealand in 2009.

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Tottenham Hotspur Announce Fan Representation On Board After European Super League Debacle | Football News

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Tottenham Hotspur Announce Fan Representation On Board After European Super League Debacle | Football News


Tottenham Hotspur Announce Fan Representation On Board After European Super League Debacle

Tottenham announced they are introducing fan representation on the board.© Instagram




Tottenham Hotspur announced on Tuesday they are introducing fan representation on the board after the European Super League debacle, apologising “unreservedly” for not consulting supporters over the divisive project. Spurs were one of six English clubs involved in the failed breakaway league but were heavily criticised and the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust (THST) has called for the resignation of the executive board.

The club said they would set up a “club advisory panel” following a similar initiative by Chelsea.

“We have all learnt lessons from recent events and have reviewed fan engagement as a priority,” Spurs said in a statement.

“As a result we shall be liaising with key stakeholders and establishing a club advisory panel, comprised of elected representatives from the different constituencies of our fanbase, inclusive and reflective of our fans’ diversity.

“The chair of this panel will be appointed annually as a full non-executive of the club board.

“We believe this provides for authentic, genuine representation and will ensure fans are at the heart of club decision-making, something we greatly welcome.”

Spurs said they were “disappointed” by THST’s decision to reject meetings with the club.

They said the “door remains open” for a wide-ranging meeting but a change of club ownership and the resignation of the board would not be on the agenda.

The supporters’ group has said it cannot be “business as usual” and have appointed the Football Supporters’ Association to mediate in any possible talks.

The club said football fans around the world had expressed strong views over the planned European Super League — under the proposal 15 teams would not have faced relegation.

Spurs said they had entered the ESL with the expectation that the format would evolve.

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“We should have challenged and reconsidered the annual access system,” the statement said.

“We wholeheartedly regret that we involved the club and that the legal process itself meant we were unable to consult our fans early on – we apologise unreservedly.”

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